hey love

things are going really, really well. in the last week, i have felt better
{mentally and physically} than i have in a while.
not saying that i haven’t been good for a while, now i am just extra good.

luminosity training, keeping track, mental exercise

{could it be my lumosity training?!}

i think i’m just happy. the living situation with my mother is wonderful. i don’t feel very “independent” for admitting that i currently live “at home,” but i know that my days in indiana {or even the united states *wink wink*} are numbered. it would be an incredibly stupid thing for me to throw my money into some apartment here.. even if it is in one of those gorgeous old historic buildings by the river- pretty much the only place in this whole city worth living. evansville doesn’t have much, but it does have beautiful and cheap accommodations, compared to many other cities. i certainly won’t be able to demand wooden floors and a claw foot bathtub when i eventually pack my moving bags and unload in a different place. knowing that i won’t be around long, i am spending as much time with my family as possible, while having the luxury of working and saving lots of could-have-been-rent-money. preparations.

pretty fall colors, leaves are changing, downtown evansville, beautiful historic homes

{oh, now you’re just showing off..}

anyway, the time spent at home has also given me the wonderful opportunity to truly downsize. i’ve cut into my total life’s accumulation by about 50% just in the last two months, and i haven’t even finished. americans hoard things and food as though the apocalypse is knocking down our door. trust me, we have enough physical room to do so. compared to other countries where driving more than a few hours can transplant you from coast to coast, and where living situations are much tinier, driving that distance here is no big deal, sometimes even done on a whim. the u.s. is huge, houses are huge, refrigerators (many families are investing in two of them, referring to the second one as their “soft drink / soda / beer fridge”) are also huge. it’s no surprise that mega retail corporations like target and wal-mart flourish in these parts. buying stuff makes people happy and we have a ton of space to store said, useless stuff. i’m no innocent in this matter. one of my favorites pastimes is venturing to estate auctions all over the tri-state and buying other people’s crap treasure. i’ve become good at it too, often taking the majority of my spoils to sell in consignment shops, thus usually turning a profit. with that said, i am also very sentimental, thanks surely be to my extremely [overly] sentimental mom, so i have also had to go through the mental steps of parting with certain items that bring about past memories… but my mother. i may or may not have found my younger brother’s dropped umbilical cord-thing while going through boxes of our childhood clothes. it was in a ziploc bag so i didn’t actually touch the shriveled bit of nastiness, but the emotional damage inflicted from it’s unexpected discovery cannot be undone. in a way, all of this has been good for me. i have learned, over time and especially while traveling, that less is more and purging things that you don’t need is crucial in finding some sort of balance in this chaotic world.

technics turntable, gorgeous turntable, brian eno, vinyl records, old school, listening to music, technics turntable and receiver

{finally got my “new” technics turntable up and running – going to auctions does have it’s perks, and this was a battle that i wasn’t going to lose}

i have yet to discover that balance for myself, but in the last week, i have come very close. my health is quickly and thankfully becoming top priority. here is a tiny yet terrifying list of common u.s. foods that are banned in other countries:

farm-raised salmon: “raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties), plus a concoction of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals not shown to be safe for humans. this diet leaves the fish with unappetizing grayish flesh so to compensate, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which has not been approved for human consumption and has well known toxicities.”

ractopamine-tainted meat: “beta agonist drug ractopamine (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular. this reduces the overall fat content of the meat. ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter. up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket.” – banned in 160 other countries!

flame retardant drinks: “if you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant. (…) BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses.”

processed foods containing artificial food colors and dyes: “more than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children. (…) In countries where these food colors and dyes are banned, food companies like Kraft employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto.”

arsenic-laced chicken: “Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen.”

source: mercola.com

if that doesn’t terrify you, then i’m not sure what will. i’ve been slowly changing my diet [not dieting] over the past year, but the rate of acceleration of my efforts has tripled in the last month. i attribute it to being home in the united states and seeing just how unhealthy people are here. it’s a sad reality that i have only woken up to in the last couple years. my generation was raised on kraft products and sugary cereals (or in other words: fake food) and i have begun to put a monumental emphasis on the quality of what i eat, in terms of freshness and preparation. i’ve also started adjusting my meals based on the seasonality of ingredients used. more thought, effort, and definitely money goes into my diet but i can feel the physical and mental difference that high quality, organic food makes, and it’s so worth it. this past week, i have taken extra time to substitute one meal a day for a superfood-based smoothie and i haven’t needed caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, or excedrin since i began doing this. so, i’m going to keep on doing what i’m doing and see where it takes me. hopefully {probably} to a much happier, fitter place.

philosophie superfood blends, superfood smoothies, almond butter, coconut butter, spinach smoothie, green dream, green dream smoothie by philosophie

{sophie’s product(s) is amazing, and i’m not being paid to tell you about it! visit her website for more information: thephilosophie.com}

what else is new? well, in a matter of weeks, three to be exact, my sweetie / significant other / main squeeze is visiting me! here, in indiana, which is of great significance considering he has never been to the united states before, in his entire life. with thoughts of his arrival, there is so much excitement surrounding my every day now. don’t worry, i will also be taking him to the likes of chicago, indianapolis, and possibly elsewhere if time allows. expansive fields, endless “o’charleys” and “apple bees”-type restaurants, and a limited nightlife won’t be his only exposure to america. but i’m excited for his exposure to those things as well. don’t get me wrong, i may have a serious problem (or a couple of them) with certain aspects of life in my country, but it’s home. and i’m proud of it. i can’t wait to show this special person where i come from, but more importantly, the kind of people that i come from. that’s really what this is all about.

see you soon, darling.
until next time, followers.

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